Solidarity in the EU: A Critique of Solidarity and of the EU

  • Bengt BeutlerEmail author


In this chapter, Bengt Beutler sheds light on solidarity as a variable concept that is embedded in the context of a changing integration project. He starts from the diagnosis that solidarity in the European Union (EU) currently seems to be a lost cause—notwithstanding multiple references to it in the Lisbon Treaties. However, by tracing the unique character of solidarity as well as that of the EU, one can find amazing similarities and mutual interdependence, Beutler argues. Solidarity marks the universal groundwork for, as well as the objective of, the survival of humanity, and the EU—for the first time in history—provides the institutional framework necessary for such solidarity, going beyond the traditional notion of a sovereign state and its exclusive mandate to uphold the common good. To make solidarity real in an increasingly fragmented world, Beutler claims, it is necessary to move away from its present abstraction and instead appeal to the intuition of the people when operating within the institutional framework provided by the EU, achieving this through concrete actions—as envisaged explicitly in the 1951 Treaty constituting the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.University of HamburgHamburgGermany

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